Art & Design

Art Beat | All The Gram-Worthy Art To See In Sydney In September

By Emma O'Neill
31st Aug 2018

Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List
Art Beat Sydney Exhibitions September | The Urban List

Guys, spring is here, warm weather is on the way, and with the switch of seasons, it looks like the art scene here in Sydney is heating up too.

To keep you across our city’s tastiest visual treats, we give you Art Beat—a series all about doin’ it for the ‘gram (and all the feels that only great art can give, of course). Some people might say art isn’t for everyone, but we disagree. There are no rules, and what you like is totally your own—whether its pottery, pop-art or Bey and Jay going apeshit in the Louvre.

So here you go. We give you a taste of all the arty sights, shows and exhibitions you should be seeing this September.

The Public Body 0.3

We’re used to seeing scantily-clad, butt-naked bodies in art, sure—but the third and final installment of a three-part annual show at Artspace showcases nudes on a whole new level. Curators Talia Linz and Alexie Glass-Kantor bring together 40 artists to explore the impacts of information technology and image saturation on our idea of the body and what it means to be human.

The public program kicks off this Saturday 1 September with a talk between the Glass-Kantor and artist Patricia Piccinini, who has just closed a blockbuster show at GOMA in Brissy (it included a set of her beautiful slash grotesque animal-human beasts). The first and second versions of the Artspace show garnered international acclaim and the finale is set to be equally expansive, scandalous, and PG-rated.

What: The Public Body 0.3
When: August 31 – 16 2018
Where: Artspace


BTS #thepublicbody opening this Thursday, 6pm! #jessjohnson

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Sydney Contemporary 2018

Every year, collectors, gallerists and artists from Australia and OS descend on Carriageworks for the nation’s biggest contemporary art fair. It’s an unmissable one-stop shop for all of the best galleries in the region, so it’s basically one helluva art attack.

To add to the experience, the impressive line-up of talks and performance art provide breathers between gallery go-sees. On Thursday 13 September, for example, Vogue Living Creative Director Natasha Allan joins gallerist Edwina Corlette in a panel discussion on global design trends, how art influences home interiors and how you can collect it. A good one for all you budding baller art collectors out there.

Other top picks include Saturday brunch with artist Jim Thalassoudis at Chippendale gallery Nanda Hobbs, or artist-run talks about the secrets of printmaking. At Barangaroo, you'll find three large-scale installations set up in honour of Sydney Contemporary, including a bust of Donald Trump that you (and the seagulls) can sit in.

Our non-negotiable is taking up Taiwanese artist River Lin’s offer to “Wash away your regrets, your fears and your imperfections” in a one-on-one purification. It promises to be a contemporary cleansing better than any therapist or Bikram sesh we’ve ever tried.  

What: Sydney Contemporary
When: September 13 – 16 2018
Where: Carriageworks


Early Chinese artists depicted mystic worlds of misty peaks, tumbling waterfalls and meandering streams. They were the kind of landscapes where supernatural beings hung out in caves, Gods took shelter in mountains, and everything ‘under heaven’ kept the universal yin and yang in check.

Flash forward to 2018, today’s artists reflect on the bleak reality of China’s never-ending urban sprawl, where mountains are (literally) moved to make room for roads and skies are choked with pollution. Supernatural showcases a range of reactions to the contemporary chaos. Expect to see the strange and the stunning, from dreamy ink washed photographs, bamboo cast in bronze, landscapes ‘knitted’ in wire and insect-winged men with dragonfly eyes.

The gallery has been closed for a month during install and guys, we’ve been waiting with bated breath. Once you’ve seen it all, stop it at the gallery’s Tea House to sip and let the show soak in.  

What: Supernatural
When: September 7 - 3 February, 2018
Where: White Rabbit Gallery

Tied Up Dogs Rose Bay

Pup lovers, this one’s for you. Well-known for his astute observations of everyday, suburban life, in his latest exhibition, Noel McKenna turns his eye to the delightful dogs he sees during daily strolls with his own, Melman and Rosie, in his home suburb of Rose Bay.

Whether it be Dalmatians, Terriers or Greyhounds tied to telephone poles, water hydrants or bike stands, all of his subjects are tethered by the place and promise of their owners’ return. Drawing inside, accompanying works depict equally sweet domestic still lifes and a map of Sydney traced with the artist’s memories. Upon first glance the pieces appear naïve—but check out the subtle details: a bend of light or the fall of a wilting flower. Together, the exhibition makes up a picture of a considered and slow life.

What: Noel McKenna - Tied Up Dogs Rose Bay
When: 25 August - 22 September 2018
Where: Darren Knight Gallery


Ever thought about visiting a cemetery on the weekend? Just for fun? If not, HIDDEN will make you want to.

Far removed from the sometimes from the ‘white cube’ setting of most art galleries, 45 outdoor sculptures have been nestled in the gardens of Australia’s oldest and largest cemetery. It’s a grown-up game of hide and seek, with each found artwork a container of history, remembrance, love and lives past and present.

The exhibition celebrates its 10th anniversary this month with a whole host of non-spooky activities from curator-led tours to performance art and even photography and zine workshops. Check it out and see a different side to the graveyard.  

When: 1 September – 1 October 2018
Where: Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney

In need of some Y-O-U time? Check out this free festival of mindfulness and meditation set on a Surry Hills rooftop. 

Image credits: 
1. Angela Goh, 
Scum Ballet, 2017 (Artspace).
2. Chen Wei, 
Future and Modern, 2014 (White Rabbit Gallery)
3. Qiu Zhijie, 
The Heritage of the Third World, 2013 (White Rabbit Gallery)
4. River Lim
, Cleansing Service, 2018 (Sydney Contemporary)
5. Huang Xiaoliang, 
East Window, 2015 (White Rabbit Gallery)
6. Noel McKenna, 
Tied Up Dogs Rose Bay, 2017 (Darren Knight Gallery)
7. Callum Morton, 
Monument # 32: Helter Shelter, 2018 (At Barangaroo for Sydney Contemporary)

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